West Brom put their unbeaten start to the season on the line when they welcome Everton to the Hawthorns today.
Baggies boss Steve Clarke has enjoyed a dream start to his managerial career emphatically beating Liverpool on the opening day of the season and following that up with a draw at Spurs last week. A win or draw today would mean the best ever start to a Premier League campaign for the Baggies.
Charged with halting their run is an Everton side in superb form and the Toffees go into this game with the possibility of winning three in a row at the start of the season for the first time since 1993. That year Tony Cottee scored a hat trick to beat Sheffield United in the third game of the 1993-94 season.
David Moyes starts the season with team full of goals and will be confident of halting Steve Clarke’s West Brom side with the Scot able to call on several in form players for the match on Saturday. Everton are a team that look full of goals, Marouane Fellaini, Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith, Nikica Jelavica and Steven Pienaar have all scored so far this season.
Steve Clarke wil be checking on the fitness of several first team players. Defenders Steven Reid, Jonas Olsson and Liam Ridgewell, midfielders James Morrison, Graham Dorrans and Jerome Thomas plus strikers Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku all missed the midweek Capital One Cup tie at Yeovil.
Four of the eight returned to training on Thursday with Clarke indicating another two joined in on Friday. Baggies forward, Peter Odemwingie is reported to be close to making a comeback from a groin injury, but is likely to start on the bench should he prove fit and could be joined by Jerome Thomas. Up front, Romelu Lukaku missed the club’s League Cup tie with Yeovil during the week, but should be fit and could start.
Everton boss David Moyes has a fully-fit squad to select from, with Mirallas in contention for his first Premier League start. Phil Neville is available despite having to come off towards the end of Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup second-round victory over Leyton Orient with a hamstring problem, as is defender Tony Hibbert, who has missed the last two games with a neck injury.
West Bromwich Albion (from): Foster, Myhill, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell, Jara Reyes, Tamas, Dawson, Jones, Dorrans, Yacob, Mulumbu, Morrison, Brunt, Gera, El Ghanassy, Thomas, Fortune, Long, Rosenberg, Odemwingie, Lukaku.
Everton (from): Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Hibbert, Neville, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Jelavic, Naismith, Mucha, Heitinga, Coleman, Anichebe, Barkley, Gueye, Mirallas, Vellios, Duffy, Garbutt.
Shane Long will look to continue to continue his good form against Everton although may lose out to Chelsea loan signing, Romelu Lukaku, after playing in the midweek Capital One cup clash with Leyton Orient. Steven Reid sat out the midweek game and is likely to start in defence today.
Darron Gibson is fast becoming a key man for Everton in midfield and is set to start with Fellaini likely to partner him in a deeper role for the versatile Belgian. Seamus Coleman should make the bench and will push Steven Pienaar for a midfield place.